Being part of a community that cares is so very important to preteens. I wonder how many kids that are using sm [social media] are involved in other groups, such as church youth groups, choirs, boy scouts etc.
I try to give students that same socialization with Moodle. We also begin the school year overviewing privacy and what-if scenarios. I can only do so much to protect them, though. Many of them are on Facebook at a young age. I have 4th graders with iPhones and Internet access. All I can do is talk to them and listen if problems arise.
That’s a fascinating observation, isn’t it? As our children do the same thing with social media that they did with the mobile devices their parents gave them–use them in spite of what educators say–maybe we need to change our perspective. For educators, protect means stopping kids from accessing social media.
There has to be another way. Maybe, we need to go back to Kat Gleason’s point…
Are our schools communities that care?
If not, shouldn’t they be?
Social Networks: Thinking Of The Children : NPR
- Social Networks: Thinking Of The Children by Linton Weeks
- children need to be socialized in the online world just as much as they do in the real world.”
- Despite ominous reports of cyberbullying and “Facebook depression” among young people, the number of parents who are cool with their children — between the ages of 10 and 12 — having a social media account has doubled in a year.
- It is legally verboten — by the Children’s Online Protection Act of 1998 — for a website to collect personal information or track the cybertrail of anyone younger than 13, without parental consen
- Rather than create software to prevent digital tracking, most sites insist that users be of age.
- Many general-interest, multigenerational social media websites — like Facebook, MySpace and Twitter — solve the problem by requiring that all users be at least 13 years old.
- millions of young people are flouting the rules to create accounts on the social networking sites
- According to the New York Times, a 2009 survey by the Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project reported that 38 percent of 12-year-olds in the United States participate in social networks. And in June 2011, Consumer Reports estimated that about 7.5 million people who use Facebook are younger than 13.
- Facebook — the mother of all social networks with some 500 million users — makes it clear when you sign up for the service: “If you are under age 13, please do not attempt to register for Facebook or provide any personal information about yourself to us.”
- social media can be beneficial to younger users.
- “For some teens and tweens, social media is the primary way they interact socially, rather than at the mall or a friend’s house. … A large part of this generation’s social and emotional development is occurring while on the Internet and on cellphones. Parents need to understand these technologies so they can relate to their children’s online world — and comfortably parent in that world.”
- Children using social media should be educated about the possible pitfalls of interaction with strangers
- “Engagement in social media and online communities can enhance communication, facilitate social interaction and help develop technical skills.
- Online hobnobbing can enable youngsters to discover opportunities for community service and volunteering “and can help youth shape their sense of identity,” the report states. “These tools also can be useful adjuncts to — and in some cases are replacing — traditional learning methods in the classroom.”
- Use of social media has become so widespread among young people, according to the report, many pediatricians have added this question to their patient forms: “Are you on Facebook?
- Educating users
- “is critical to ensuring that people of all ages use the Internet safely and responsibly. We agree with safety experts that communication between parents or guardians and kids about their use of the Internet is vital. We believe that services such as Facebook have a role to play in encouraging this.”
- Facebook should also provide controls so that only parents can change privacy settings or accept friend requests on accounts for minors, or something to that effect.”
- “Facebook is far less shady than a lot of other online destinations that kids can get to just fine without parental consent. As far as I’m concerned, I would rather have my kid safely entrenched in Facebook than out wandering the ‘back alleys’ of the Web.”
- “There appears to be some belief that the age of 13 is magical,” he says, “that children with no other socialization will magically be able to handle the online world and, by the same token, kids younger cannot. What is missing from all of this is parental judgment.”
- “unless we find alternatives to Facebook for preteens, we will continue to have kids lying about their age, or their parents allowing them to lie, to join Facebook and other full-sized social networks. Also, no one knows who a ‘parent’ is. How would we prove that anyone is the parent — or legally authorized parent — of a preteen?”
- “It’s time that we understand that like it or not, preteens want social networking,” she adds. “And until or unless Facebook creates special family accounts or a special Facebook for preteens, there is a need and a market.”
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Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure